Batgirl just turned meta-awareness into her most effective weapon

In Batgirls #6, Barbara Gordon turned her awareness of comic book tropes against Spellbinder, creating an impressive weapon in the process.

Warning: contains spoilers for Batgirls #6!

Barbara Gordon, aka bat girl, has just turned meta-consciousness into its most impressive weapon. In Batgirls #6, Batgirl finds herself trapped by the villainous Spellbinder, who uses the art of Fear Gas to terrorize Gotham City. As Spellbinder talks about his schemes, Batgirl plays on his need, as a villain, for monologue – eventually turning the tables. The issue is on sale now in print and digital.

Batgirls past and present reunited in the aftermath of the fall of the Magistrate and the Scarecrow’s failed attempt to bring about the State of Fear. The team, consisting of Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, soon came face to face with the Tutor, a graffiti artist whose creations could mesmerize people. Using these powers, the Tutor rose up against Gotham’s power structures, including the Bat-Family. The Batgirls have been on the Guardian’s trail, and in Batgirls #5, they discovered that Tutor had a mentor, named Spellbinder. At the end of the fifth issue, Spellbinder took Barbara Gordon prisoner, planning to use her to create his “masterpiece”. Now, in issue six, Batgirl must find a way to escape Spellbinder’s clutches – and her solution plays to a common comic book trope.


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The issue opens with Spellbinder pontificating about Gotham’s perceived lack of culture, as well as his working days at Arkham Asylum to Barbara Gordon, tied to a chair. While working there, Spellbinder realized he had the ability to connect with inmates through art, and he now plans to use that ability to control the residents and rulers of Gotham City. Barbara, realizing that all villains love monologue, has Spellbinder talk – long enough to undo the ropes and break free. Confronted by Spellbinder, she overpowers him. The issue is written by Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad, illustrated by Jorge Corona, colored by Sarah Stern, and lettered by Becca Carey.

Batgirl makes Spellbinder talk

The trope of a comic book villain delivering a monologue outlining their plans is common, and here Batgirl turns it to her advantage. Batgirl acknowledged that Spellbinder, with her garish outfits and decadent lair, would undoubtedly do a monologue, a hint that paid off. Batgirl has faced many villains in her lifetime, including some of the worst Gotham has to offer, giving her a deep understanding of their mindset and psychology. Batgirl saw all the telltale signs of a classic villain in Spellbinder, and she knew that would be the key to her defeat – it was just a matter of toying with her massive ego. Batgirl has once again proven why she is one of the most fearsome members of the Bat-Family, using both brains and brawn to defeat Spellbinder.

This isn’t the first time this trope has been sent to other comics, most notably in Ozymandias’ infamous monologue in watchmen. However, bat girl used meta-consciousness to turn a villain’s propensity for monologues against him, creating a formidable weapon.

Next: Batgirl Exposes Bruce Wayne’s Hypocrisy In Ways Even He Can’t Deny

Batgirls #6 is available now from DC Comics.

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